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17 Compelling Reasons to Start a Social Club In 2024

Updated: Jun 7


Could starting a social club be right for you?

Table of Contents

About the Author - Angela Caveney, Ph.D.


Introduction


Have you ever considered starting your own social club? 


Few things are more powerful and essential than community, yet many people find themselves isolated and lonely, resulting in serious negative effects on physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.


As the Founder of The Trybe Women’s Social Club, I'm often asked about the reasons I created this women’s group. 


My reasons are many, and I can say, without exaggeration, that starting a social membership club is in the top 5 BEST decisions I have made in my life. For the first time, I feel like I’m truly fulfilling the greater purpose I’ve always known was “out there somewhere” (but that I hadn’t found yet).


Could this be you too? 


I have previously detailed the many benefits to JOINING a social club. In this post, I’ll summarize 17 reasons why STARTING a social club could be exactly what YOU’VE been looking for to expand your social circle and fulfill your own purpose in life.

What is a social club?

But First. What Is a Social Club?

Before we talk about the reasons for creating a club, let's review the definition of a social club. (For the most thorough answer to this question, check out my blog post entitled, What Is A Social Club.)


According to WikiPedia, the definition of a social club is, “...a group of people or the place where they meet, generally formed around a common interest, occupation or activity. Examples include book discussion clubs, chess clubs, country clubs, final clubs, fishing clubs, gaming clubs, gentlemen's clubs…” 


Other common terms used for social clubs include, “private social clubs”, “elite social clubs”, “memberships clubs” and “social membership club”.


For the sake of this particular article, I’m referring specifically to local social clubs that meet in person (Yes! Old school!), not online social clubs. I’m also referring to social membership clubs that come together around a common set of core values, rather than a specific hobby or activity. 

Through recruiting your social club membership, you'll find your own people

Find Your People By Starting a Social Club

Of course, people coming together in community is THE most important purpose of a social club, so let’s start here.


Below are my top people-related reasons for opening a social club:


1. Find human connection

Connection is a basic human need. The COVID Pandemic taught us many things, including that there is no substitute for in-person, face to face human connection.


Yet, many people don’t know how to, or are not willing or able to find connection for themselves, let alone others. Making friends in midlife is difficult! As the leader of a social membership club, you are not only helping others satisfy a core human need, but one of your own as well.


2. Talk to interesting people

As the leader of a social club, your job is literally to go around looking for new members and interesting things for them to do. It’s absolutely fascinating to talk to people about their businesses, interesting hobbies and passions. (And they love to talk about them!)


This is not only fun, but will also give you a sense that time is passing more slowly (and you’ll remember it better) because you’re having unique conversations and trying new things very often. 

You'll make new friends as you look for potential members

3. Quickly make friends in a new city

It might seem counterintuitive, but opening a social club is actually a perfect way to make friends if you’ve just moved to a new city, or even just a new neighborhood.


As the leader of a social club, you have the perfect icebreaker topic…something that is not only interesting to talk about, but also something tangible to offer prospective members that helps them have fun and find friendship. 


I have literally walked up to strangers (in places like grocery stores and farmer’s markets) and started telling them about my club. Amazingly, not a single person has ever given me so much as a “dirty look”, let alone walked away. In nearly all cases, people say either “I need this in my life” or “I know someone who needs this”. It's literally that easy to find new members.


Once you know just a few people in your new city, meeting more becomes a piece of cake. All you need to do is to ask the people you’ve met to introduce you to someone they know who does something “interesting”...and the dominoes begin to fall. 


In very short order (as long as you are an active and engaged listener), you’ll find yourself with a schedule full of people asking to meet up for coffee or cocktails.


(My favorite way to get to know people is to go on “walk-n-talks”. It’s less pressure than a face to face conversation with a new person and also has the benefit of being great exercise and a way to connect with nature.)


This one might surprise you, because it’s also counterintuitive. As the leader of a private social club, you must both understand and meet the interpersonal needs of your club members. To be effective at this, your role is to listen to your members talk about what they are struggling with as well as what they're passionate about.


In other words, there’s actually no pressure on you to really say anything! Beyond explaining the club, setting the stage for the conversation’s purpose and asking key questions when needed to keep it going, you just need to let them run with it. 


As I mentioned above, people absolutely LOVE talking about themselves, their businesses and what they are interested in. You just need to listen actively, take some notes and enjoy the ride. Trust me, you will never run out of things to talk about. 


(Not only is this easy, but an added bonus is that the other person will come away with a very positive feeling about you simply because you gave them the gift of listening with true interest, an open mind and a focus on how your relationship can be mutually beneficial.)  

By creating a social club - you'll get to know everyone!

5. Become a super connector

In their book, Super Connector, Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh define “super connectors” as community builders who are highly attuned to the power of relationship building and who purposefully orchestrate interactions between people for purposes of mutual value. 


As you are introduced to and have a chance to sit down and really get to know more and more people in your local area, you’ll start to see obvious synergies and be able to make important introductions that people will truly appreciate.


Another fun aspect of this is that it becomes very interesting, as you are invited to more and more social events, to see who already knows who. No matter how large, your city will begin to feel like a close-knit, small community of people who are only a few degrees of separation from each other.


6. Build a web of REAL influence

Marketing folks talk a lot about the “know, like and trust factor”. These days, they are often talking about how difficult it is to build this in our online relationships. 


Thankfully, in person relationships have the power to develop this much more quickly. 


As long as you live in alignment with your core personal values and operate your social membership club with unfailing integrity, you will naturally develop influence in your community.


For example, I’m asked at least a couple of times a week about who I recommend for pretty much any local service you can think of. (Plumbers, electricians, tree removal, AV Tech help, software and so on.) 


As you can imagine, there are many ways that this level of influence benefits you, your club members and the companies you recommend. It's a win-win-win when done with intergrity.


7. Be popular

Another reason to create a private social club is that you’ll never again have to wonder what you’re doing on Saturday night. As the hub of the community, you’ll be invited to more of others’ social events and parties than you can possibly attend. The hardest part of this is learning to say “no”. 

The best social clubs have a focus on service

Start a Local Social Club To Have a Positive Impact

The positive impact you are having on not only your own club, but also your greater community will surpass your wildest expectations. (You'll have more positive impact than even you are aware of.)


I’ve consolidated what could be an entire article with hundreds of examples into three general categories of impact:


8. Support your club members

It is not an exaggeration to say that the positive impact you have on your members will be powerful, often even transformative. As a culture, we are so lonely right now. It feels amazing to know you are helping your members find their people and have fun, while growing by pushing out of their comfort zones. 


Some of your members will be new to the area, while some will be looking for a new friend group because of toxic relationships. Many will be struggling with empty nest syndrome or are newly retired and needing guidance to transition more easily into the next phase of their lives. 


Some of your members will join your community because they are stuck on the hamster wheel of their businesses, feeling like life is flying by too quickly. Quite a few members of The Trybe Women’s Social Club have joined because they are so busy with work that they simply don’t have time to find friends and organize fun things to do.


9. Support local businesses

Whether the focus of the social events for your club is casual hangouts at local restaurants or (as with The Trybe Women’s Social Club) you curate structured events during which members are doing activities and learning new things, it’s easy to choose speakers and activity leaders who are local business owners.


Look for businesses whose target market matches the demographics of your club. When aligned well, you are providing these local businesses with extremely valuable (and often expensive and hard to find) in-person exposure to their target audiences. They will love you for it!


10. Support local nonprofits

I firmly believe that local contribution (often in the form of volunteering as a group) is an important component of well organized private social clubs. This, of course, is not only for the benefit of the nonprofits and those they serve, but it also provides your social club members with a sense of satisfaction and purpose.


A great advantage of being the leader of a social membership club is that you can choose to focus on the nonprofits that are most important to you. Alternatively, you can poll your members to learn which organizations they care about. You will also likely have members who work for local nonprofits and can provide you with the “inside scoop” on local service opportunities. 


If you’re not sure what nonprofits to support, don’t worry, once word of your group starts to spread, they’ll reach out with meaningful opportunities for your members. It feels great to be able to respond to these requests by rallying your troops to show up to lend a hand!

Creating a social club will develop your leadership skills

Create a Social Club to Hone Your Leadership Skills

I’m assuming, if you’ve gotten this far, that you’re interested in leadership. One of the really fun parts about building your own club is that…well…you’re in charge!


As the leader of a social club, you get to decide everything about the group including:


11. Your club’s core values 

This is first because it’s, hands down, the most important. In order to create a successful and engaged community (regardless of the type of community you are building), you must bring everyone together around a set of core values that form the basis of the club’s identity. 


Establishing, displaying, consistently talking about and operating in alignment with the club’s core values helps people to determine if they are a good fit for the community.


I decided to match The Trybe Women’s Social Club’s core values with my own personal core values of “connection”, “growth” and “impact”. Honestly, I did this for a very practical reason. These are the things that are most important to me and I need others in my life doing the same sorts of things to be able to live my best life in alignment with my values. 


Slick ‘eh? As the leader of a private social club, you get to meet your own needs as you help others to meet theirs. Everyone wins.

Why are you creating the social club? What is the clubs's purpose?

12. The purpose of your club

What kind of club do you want to create? What will your club's mission statement be? There is no shortage of ideas for social club topics and, as the leader, you get to pick the one that is most rewarding for you. 


Do you want to start a women’s social club? A men’s group? What age will your social club members be? What common theme unites them? 


Many clubs focus around interesting hobbies. Common club topics include book clubs, cooking clubs, photography clubs, chess clubs, investor clubs, writing clubs, wine clubs, poker clubs, movie clubs and art clubs. 


But, not all clubs are “hobby clubs”. The Trybe Women’s Social Club, for example, is a club for women in midlife who want to continue to learn, grow and bond with other women around the shared experience of this phase of our lives. The social club events and activities we do are simply tools for this growth and connection. 


There are so many ideas for social membership clubs! What type of club will you create?


13. What events and activities your club does

 One of the most fun reasons to start a club is that you get to choose the specific events and activities that the club does. Ideally you’ll reach out to your club members for ideas and feedback, but the ultimate decision of what your club actually does is up to you.


People often ask me if I’m running out of ideas for what our club can do. They’re always surprised when I tell them that the opposite is true. The longer I lead my club, the more interesting people doing interesting things find their way to me.

All successful clubs have well defined rules, core values and a mission statement

14. Your club’s rules

A well organized, successful club must have rules. Who can join the social club membership? What types of behavior and conversations are permitted and what are not? 


Even rules about small things such as when, where, how often and for how long the club will meet are important rules that need to be determined so the members are comfortable and know what to expect and do. 


Start a Social Club to Amplify Your Business

If you choose to create a social club that is a business rather than a hobby, this opens up a world of new possibilities.


Here are my top business related benefits to starting a social club:


15. Belong to your local business community 

The Trybe Women’s Social Club is legally classified as a business, yet, for some reason, I was initially surprised by how quickly I was embraced by our local business community.


I suppose, for some reason, I didn’t expect other local business owners to view my women’s social club as a “real” business. (Could this be because we’re having so much fun that it doesn’t feel like work?)


Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong about this and I now consider my local business community member peers (most of whom I’ve met through our local Chamber of Commerce) to be amongst the most important members of my business support system. 


It’s really exciting to be a part of the local business scene and the support and camaraderie is unmatched. Learning from these local leaders has helped me immeasurably as I struggle with the same common obstacles that most small business owners face.  


(Note. You actually do not have to own a business to be a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. I highly recommend you still join even if you don’t legally define your club as a business.)


16. Create a powerful funnel to your (other) business

From selling your hand crafted soap to finding coaching clients, opening a social membership club can have fantastic marketing benefits for your other business.


I’m a bit embarrassed now to admit that this is a benefit of creating a club that came as a complete surprise to me. (To be fair, this is my first stab at entrepreneurship having spent most of my life in the academic research world at the University of Michigan.) 


Early in The Trybe’s development, I noticed that a high percentage of the women joining my club were local business owners. At first I thought this was only because they were so busy running their business that they didn’t have time to make friends (which is also true in many cases).


I quickly realized what these business owners clearly already knew. Social clubs, while refreshingly distinct from business networking clubs, undeniably offer potent business networking opportunities. 


As I mentioned in my article on reasons to join a social club, the business networking power of a private social club lies in the absence of obligatory attendance, referrals, and checklists. Social club events and activities offer genuine opportunities to build relationships in a much more fun, relaxing and natural way.


And do you know what is even better than being a member of a social club from a business networking standpoint? Yep, you guessed it, being the leader of one. 


As the leader of the club, you have a built in audience of people who love and appreciate you for helping them! They know, like and trust you and will jump at opportunities to help you in return.  

Membership fees are a primary way a club makes money

17. Make money running your social club

Many social clubs have the goal to break even financially, but they can also be a nice side hustle (or even full time income) depending on how you structure your club. 


The primary way social clubs make money is through social club membership fees. These are fees that your social club members pay monthly to be in the club. Other sources of income for a social club include charging for individual social club events and donations of support. 


Once your club has grown to a sufficient size, you may also be able to find local sponsors for your club as well as companies that will pay to advertise through your newsletter and website.


A fun, indirect financial benefit of opening a social membership club is that you often don’t have to pay for your own participation in the club’s events and activities. I am nearly always able to negotiate free attendance for myself in exchange for my efforts supporting the local business owner.


Final Thoughts

If you were thinking "this sounds great!" as you read the above article, I encourage you to "give it a go". The world is in desperate need of leaders to step up right now to bring us together in healthy and positive ways. 


As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, opening a social club is one of the best decisions I have ever made. In creating community for others, I have created it for myself. All of the benefits of joining a social club are realized by and amplified for the person who starts the club.


Because I structured my club to align with my own personal core values and interests, I know that every day (whether I am actively engaging with my community,  working on ways to improve it behind the scenes or writing a blog post to try to encourage others to step up to lead), I am living in alignment with my true purpose.  


And best of all…I am having an absolute BLAST! 


About the Author

Angela Caveney, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Trybe Women's Social Club. Her absolute favorite things to do are to help women find their people, rediscover themselves and thrive throughout midlife. She can be reached directly at angela@the-trybe.com.


(*Note. If The Trybe Women's Social Club is not in your location, reach out to Dr. Caveney to start a conversation about creating a club where you live. Even if you don't know a single person in your new city, don't worry!  This is a great way to start to meet new people fast. We'll provide the framework to get you started.)


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